lead generation

What Does It Really Mean Series: Native Advertising

570074655_1280x720Next in our “What Does It Really Mean” series is Native Advertising. This is another one of those confusing industry buzzwords, but one that’s important because native advertising is everywhere. With more people turning off traditional forms of advertising, marketers are employing more subtle forms of messaging. You may have engaged with native advertising and not even know it. Let me demystify native advertising for you.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is paid advertising that’s so artfully created that it blends seamlessly into the non-paid content that surrounds it. It’s designed to trick you into believing that these native ads are actually part of the content. As a result, they’re much less disruptive and more engaging than traditional advertisements.

How does native advertising differ from traditional forms of advertising?

Traditional display ads are the boxes and banners we’re all used to seeing at the top of search engine results pages. These ads are obvious promotions with calls to action; their purpose is to get you to buy. Native ads are totally different. They’re created to match the look and feel of the content they’re seamlessly integrated with so that they appear to be part of the content itself. When executed well, you shouldn’t be able to pick out the native ad in the content. They’re not designed to sell; they’re designed to influence content, generate brand awareness and improve site traffic. It’s quite a piece of clever trickery.

What are the benefits of native advertising?

As consumers, we’ve become ad savvy. We can spot paid ads a mile away and we don’t trust them. Many of us don’t consider traditional ads relevant anymore and as a result we block them. According to a new report by PageFair, ad blocker usage surged 30% in 2016. There were 615 million devices blocking ads worldwide by the end of 2016, 62% (308 million) of those mobile. Desktop ad blocker usage grew 17% year-over-year to 236 million. As a result, native advertising is proving to be more successful than traditional online advertising. On mobile devices the average click-through rates are four times higher for premium native ads versus non-native display ads (Business Insider). Native ads are not easily identified as paid advertising and therefore there’s a greater chance that the consumer will trust a native ad and engage with it. According to Forbes:

  • People view native ads 53% more frequently than traditional ads
  • Native advertising can increase brand lift by as much as 82%.
  • Purchase intent is 53% higher when consumers click on native ads instead of traditional ads
  • Native ads containing rich media can boost conversion by as much as 60%

Are there any disadvantages to using native advertising?

Native advertising is very effective as long as people remain unaware that they’re reading and possibly engaging with an advertisement. The potential problems arise if the ad’s cover is blown. You then risk a backlash by people who feel tricked and could potentially develop a negative mindset against your brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about native advertising or would like to incorporate it into your marketing campaign, contact CreativeWorks Marketing today. Our expert advice, strategy, planning and execution can make a significant difference to your bottom line.

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You Know You Want It – But What is Lead Generation?

4-454x222If you’re in business, then you need leads. But what exactly is a lead? Well, that can mean different things depending upon your goals and objectives.As a marketer, my goal is to help businesses grow, but to do that, we need to clearly define the goals and objectives for obtaining that growth. Very often this leads to planning strategies and implementing campaigns for lead generation. Lead generation therefore needs to be defined: are you trying to get your brand name out into the marketplace, are you looking to increase engagement, or are you looking to get information? Before you launch your next campaign, I’ve outlined below various types of leads to help you to better define the term based on your goals and objectives:

Brand Exposure

A lead can be that moment where a potential customer comes into contact with your brand. We often don’t consider a page view, click, impression, or a page visit to be a lead as they may not equal instant sales, but they are a type of lead as they are indicators that let you know that you’ve reached people who are looking for what you’re selling. Depending on the platform, you may be able to track these individuals or engage them again. The important thing here is you’ve left an impression on them, and they now know you exist, potentially contacting you in the future – this is a lead.

Relationship Engagement

A follow or share on social media, a discussion in a LinkedIn group, or a new contact/connection on LinkedIn are all types of business development and engagement with you and a potential lead to form a relationship. Even though this may not result in an instant sale, there is now a relationship and conversation happening that wasn’t there before- this is a lead.

Information Exchange

Tracking individuals’ actions and identity via a content marketing tool or offering a free download in exchange for their information via an online form are perhaps two of the most direct ways of generating a lead. Although this approach has all the trappings of a “real lead” because you have lead information, until you determine if the “lead” is legitimate and actually make contact with the individual, this too might not instantly result in a sale.

Although there may not be immediate and direct revenue associated with these different types of leads, don’t write them off, as there is value in placing your brand in the customer’s mind so that when they are ready to purchase, you’ve made that impression they can refer back to.

What do you define as a lead? Does a lead have to result in instant revenue? Do you set objections and goals for your lead generation campaigns? If not, why not? I look forward to discussing your terms for lead generation.